On the town square in Kinsman, Ohio, you’ll find a bank, a veteran’s memorial, and a used bookstore with an owner who will unhesitatingly volunteer the assertion that Yoda was born here.
And he’s right — from (yes, you know what’s coming next) a certain point of view.
Because rural Kinsman — which is almost 19 miles from the nearest Interstate and surrounded by the expansive fields and woods of the state’s northeast corner — boasts ties to a pair of science fiction legends as well as the classic middle chapter of the original Star Wars trilogy.
The Empire Strikes Back has always been special to me not just as a movie, but for the memories and feelings it sparks. I have never experienced anticipation for a movie the way I did when I was nine years old, waiting for the sequel (Sequel? I don’t even think I knew the word existed. All I knew was “MOAR STAR WARS!”) to the Greatest Movie I’d Ever Seen. It was a time of teaser articles in National Geographic magazine and of getting a thrill just seeing that amazingly cool new Empire movie logo, and it ruled.
Which is partly why I love the back side of Ohio Historical Marker 10-78: